HomeOutdoorsNewsU.S. Marine Veteran Uses All-Terrain Wheelchair for Special Hunting Opportunity

U.S. Marine Veteran Uses All-Terrain Wheelchair for Special Hunting Opportunity

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Mitch Kezar / Design Pics

One U.S. Marine veteran recently got the gift of a lifetime when he got to go hunting. However, it wouldn’t have been possible without an all-terrain wheelchair. While walking out to a deer stand is a relatively easy task for most, for Dan Agen, it was more of a challenge due to a medical issue.

Despite his mobility issues, he could go out into the woods like many Americans and try his hand at deer hunting thanks to the program known as Access Ability Wisconsin. The program is made for people with mobility problems who want to hunt.

The group’s official motto is “Outdoor Access 4 All.” It works to create recreational opportunities for those with temporary and permanent physical limitations, including those who have to use wheelchairs and who want to get outside and reconnect with nature.

Agen, 64, served in the Marine Corps from 1978 to 1982. However, he later suffered a stroke in 2014. As a result, he has limited mobility.

Despite his challenges, he wanted to do whatever he could to go deer hunting this season. As a result, he and his wife did everything they could to make it happen. After he contacted A-Z Farms in Oregon, they hooked him up. Although he had no luck tagging a deer, it was undoubtedly a memorable experience.

After the season ended, Agen penned a heartfelt thank-you letter to sponsors, donors, and other program officials.

“Without your help, I would not have enjoyed your awesome electric wheelchair,” he wrote at the time. “I got to spend more time in the woods with my grandson and get into areas I haven’t been in many years.” He ended the note by saying he would be “forever grateful” for the experience.

Ohio organization celebrates 25 years of providing hunting access for wheelchair bound-hunters

According to Agen, the experience also brought back memories of hunting with his brother and dad. His wife also echoed his sentiment, saying, “Friends have stated (they) haven’t seen Dan this happy in a long time.”

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the Tiffin-Seneca Izaak Walton League and Seneca Conservation District recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of hosting an annual deer hunt for those with mobility challenges.

This season, three hunters harvested deer. In addition, nearly 20 people participated in the event. Someone first proposed creating a deer hunt with mobility-impaired hunters in mind in 1997.

According to volunteers with Izaak Walton, the hunting program has served as an example for fellow hunts in different parts of the country over the years.

“Now, a lot of other clubs have visited to check out how we do it,” said volunteer Steve Wright of Izaak-Walton. “We’ve developed into a real nice deer camp.”